Community outreach

Margaret Rumfitt animation

Out & About – Ripon Museums Outreach Programme

We have a unique trio of museums – a Victorian workhouse, Georgian courthouse and Regency prison – telling stories of social justice that have huge relevance today. Our Outreach Programme is designed to bring our museums to people who find it hard to access them, through lack of funds or rural and social isolation through age/learning difficulties. We use stories, costumes, collection objects and innovative techniques to engage participants. Our programme has two strands: Schools Outreach targeting schools in socially and economically deprived areas, with high levels of EAL (English as an Alternative Language) and our Community Outreach focusing on rural and social isolation.

For information on Ripon Museums Disability Access, follow this link.


Our community Outreach Project has been running since April 2018 with the aim of taking our history, stories and objects out into the communities of North Yorkshire.  Our focus has been on older, isolated people in rural areas and people with learning disabilities.  In taking our museums out to these groups, we have given them an insight and connection to ther local history which they wouldn’t have been able to access for many reasons including the reduction of public transport and lack of carers.  Evoking memories, learning new information and bringing Ripon Museums to life in the community has been a successful and insightful journey to date.

The project is co-ordinated by Anna Cross, Community Outreach Officer, alongside four volunteers who help to deliver the sessions. The sessions are based around the themes of a Workhouse, Victorian Crime & Punishment and Grannie’s Cures. Not only do the sessions touch on the facts and stories but they are higly interactive including a range of handling objects, which evoke the senses and help people reminisce. Items such as carbolic soap, a rattle, oakum, hair straighteners and laundry items and a quiz at the end of the session ‘Guess the Grannie’s Cure through smell’ have proved highly popular.

If you would like to book an outreach session, call Anna Cross on 01765 690799 or email [email protected].

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